Even before the official word arrived by phone, Alex Kube sensed what was coming.
When the Rush traded for veteran jack linebacker Kelvin Morris last week, Kube – the former Northern Illinois linebacker – realized he’d likely be caught in a numbers game. Once again, he knew, he would be a victim of football's business side and that his chances of making the Rush’s 23-man roster would be greatly diminished.
Still, when the call came, explaining that as impressive as Kube had been during training camp and in the Rush's only preseason game, he hadn't made the team, Kube understood.
“You just have to take a step back and put yourself in their shoes and understand they’re dealing with money, they’re dealing with numbers, they’re dealing with whatever they need to do to win because they get fired if they don’t,” Kube said Wednesday.
“So the only thing I did wrong was that this is my first year (with Arena football) and I’m behind a guy who not only has had a lot of success in this league, but he’s a (darn) good football player.”
The Rush acquired Morris last week from Orlando, picking up a linebacker who was the face of the Rush defense over the past two seasons. Last year, Morris made 39.5 tackles and had five interceptions, returning four for touchdowns. In two seasons with the Rush, Morris has intercepted 14 passes and made more than 100 tackles.
“We’re confident this trade puts us in a better position,” Rush coach Bob McMillen said in statement following the roster move.
The trade left Kube in a familiar place.
The 25-year-old linebacker turned defensive bck got caught in a similar position when he attended a rookie camp with the Minnesota Vikings last year. He drove to Minnesota knowing his NFL chances were slim after the Vikings had drafted two safeties. He was cut following the camp. Kube said while younger players may not understand the game’s business side, three years of trying to make a pro roster had prepared him well.
Kube will continue to work with young players at his Elite 7 training center in Lake Barrington, focused on his life after football while still remaining in shape in case the opportunity to continue his playing career arises.
Kube said there’s still a chance he could play with the Rush this year if injuries make room for him. Although he wasn’t chosen to open the season with the Rush – who open the season Saturday against the Iowa Barnstormers – he’s not ready to give up on his pro football dreams.
“I know I can still play the game at a high level,” Kube said. “I’ve just never got the opportunity where it was the right place at the right time. I’m not a drafted player and I just need to get to the right place at the right time and we’ll see what happens.
“I think I’ve got another year or two left before I’m too old to do it, but in terms of me being able to play the game, I think I’ve answered that questions on numerous occasions.”